RVA Hip Hop….Did LL Cool J Really Get Chased Out of Ebony Island

So like me a lot of us have grown up in the shadow of Hip Hop. With that being said, I have heard a lot of crazy stories out of my city about Hip Hop artists and their visit to RVA (Richmond, VA). Let’s see, there’s one about Bobby Brown having a kid in Richmond, there is one about Nas getting hit in the head with a  Heineken bottle at the Pier 7 Club and I also remember one about somebody snatching Prodigy’s chain when he visited Magic City in Petersburg. Most recently some of the younger generation of Richmond continued the legacy by trying to snatch NBA YoungBoy’s chain at a show in the National (RVA venue). At first, I thought these kids today are wild, but then I remembered a story or two about when we were coming up, so I can’t throw shade on today’s youth because we used to do the same thing.

Some stories I can verify, other stories I think might just be Richmond urban legend. But there is one story to this day that I always wondered if it was true or not and that’s the story or myth about some Richmond thugs chasing LL Cool J onto a GRTC city bus!?

So here is the story I have been told for years. I know that I am going to get most of this wrong, maybe even screw up every detail, but just the entertainment value of this legend or myth always made me laugh a bit.

Back in the late ’80s, there was a club in an infamous neighborhood located north of Richmond called Highland Park. Think of Highland Park as you would Brooklyn or Queens. It was like a borough or neighborhood in the city of Richmond that was known for how tough it was back in the day. Highland Park was home to an urban club named Ebony Island. Ebony Island was known for its large stage and good acoustics. It remained open until the late 1980s when a young rapper named LL Cool J was among its special guests.

To compare this club to Hip Hop lure, Ebony Island was like the Latin Quarters Club in NYC back in the day. This was the spot where established artists and up and coming artists stopped to perform or hang out when they came to Richmond. As the story or legend goes, one night LL Cool J came to town to perform and in typical fashion, he encountered some Richmond thugs who wanted to test this NYC kid who came down south. As I was told an altercation took place in the club between LL and a few people which eventually ended with LL Cool J getting punched in the face. LL quickly broke out from the mele and ran out of the club with a gang of dudes chasing him. By some miracle, a local city bus just happens to be parked or getting ready to pull off and LL jumped on it in a nic or time eluding the group chasing him.

I can’t tell you how many times while with family in Highland Park this story came up. It was like a badge of honor to all the older kids I used to hang with while visiting my cousins in the neighborhood. I swear that story always comes up when we talk about Hip Hop now and back in the day. I never had a chance to go into the Ebony Island, but maybe somebody reading this blog can verify the story, tell me what really happened or just put this nonsense to bed.

I’ll leave the comments on for this…………

4 thoughts on “RVA Hip Hop….Did LL Cool J Really Get Chased Out of Ebony Island

  1. It was after a show at the Coliseum he got on his tour bus after the altercation! Ebony Islands is in North Side not Highland Park!

    1. EI was on North Avenue….right off of Brookland Park in Highland Park!? I was not there when this happened….and growing up the story was never told the same way. I was just putting the story out there for discussion….Peace!


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